County hires new auditor

Published April 7, 2007

TAMPA - Hillsborough County commissioners have hired a new internal performance auditor whose job is to look for ways county government can spend tax dollars more efficiently.

Commissioners reached terms this week with James Barnes, a certified internal auditor and certified government audit professional from the Panhandle. He begins work Monday at a salary of $106,850.

Barnes has spent 27 years analyzing and reporting on local, state and federal government agencies and their contractors.

Barnes replaces Kathleen Mathews, the county's first internal performance auditor. She left the county at the end of 2006 after a little more than three years on the job. Mathews submitted her resignation after receiving critical evaluations from some commissioners who questioned her managerial abilities.

Hillsborough voters approved creating the position in 2002, and commissioners have since voted to give the person three staffers. The auditor is one of three employees, along with the county attorney and administrator, who report directly to the commission.